Links between soil health and erosion prevention

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Soil structure: Healthy soil has a good structure that allows water to infiltrate easily and reduces surface runoff. When soil is compacted or lacks organic matter, it becomes more prone to erosion.

Organic matter: Healthy soil contains organic matter (soil organanic matter or SOM), which can help bind soil particles together and improve soil structure. Organic matter retains moisture in the soil, reducing the likelihood of runoff.

Vegetation: Plants help prevent erosion by stabilizing the soil with their roots and reducing the impact of raindrops on the soil surface. The root systems of plants also create channels for water to infiltrate the soil, reducing runoff.

Microorganisms: The microbiome of healthy soil contains microorganisms that help break down organic matter and create soil aggregates. These aggregates can help prevent erosion by binding soil particles together.

Cover crops: Planting cover crops, such as grasses or legumes, can help prevent erosion by protecting the soil surface from rain and wind. Cover crops also help improve soil health by adding organic matter and fixing nitrogen in the soil.

Microbiomes in Environmental and Human Health

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Benefits to studying microbiomes

Improved understanding of human health: Microbiomes play a crucial role in maintaining human health, and studying the human microbiome can help us understand the relationship between microbiota and health. This knowledge can lead to the development of new treatments for diseases and disorders, such as obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Better agricultural practices: Understanding the microbiome of plants can help farmers develop better agricultural practices that promote plant health, increase yields, and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

Enhanced soil health: The microbiome of soil is responsible for the cycling of nutrients and maintaining soil fertility. Studying the soil microbiome can help us develop sustainable agricultural practices, reduce soil erosion, and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Environmental applications: Microbiomes play a significant role in environmental processes, such as carbon cycling, nitrogen fixation, and pollutant degradation. Studying microbiomes can help us develop environmental solutions to reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Advancements in biotechnology: Studying microbiomes can provide insights into the functions and interactions of microorganisms. This knowledge can lead to the development of new biotechnologies, such as biofuels, bioremediation, and pharmaceuticals.

Tailgating ribosomes cause rear-end collisions

During prokaryotic transcrption and translation, the ribosome and RNA polymerase play bumper cars. With the RNA polymerase as the lead car, ribosomal tailgating leads to crashing and increases transcription speed – at the expense of accuracy. But, hey, when you’re in a hurry, who’s got time for being precise? Just don’t pause for too long, or you might cause a cellular pile-up.

Tailgating cars | pencil sketch

Find more details in this study from Cell.